Sunday, 26 June 2011

New Bag! New Badge!

I've been turning into the stereotypical woman lately, I realised. First, I noticed I had more shoes and boots than anyone would ever really need, but I blame that on the boot and shoe comany I used to work for at the time. And now I seem to like bags. I have been told not to buy any more and at today's local antiques and vintage market I was almost physically forced away from the booth with all the love huge raffia bags that would just be absolutely perfect for my yarn stash. (Yes, it's true, I am finally - though unintentionally - collecting an actual stash).

So this week I walked through Little Southgate, a part of Bath's Southgate complex I usually ignore, and there, in front of Endangered Madagascar, was a pile of raffia bags in all colours, shapes and sizes. Not only that: there was a sale too! There, I got this beauty for all of £10.

The bag is incredibly spacious so I am making it my knit club bag in which I can carry whatever I need on Wednesday evenings. The inside has a pretty lining of patterend blue and white fabric, with two little pockets added for a phone and other little odds and ends. The handle and the corners of the base are made of real leather and remind me old-fashioned suitcases.

Since I was on my way to Wool Bath at the time, I popped in and finlly, FINALLY bought this cute badge from Sumptuosity. I have been wanting "Knit happens" for ages now. As you can see, it now has a place of honour on my knit club bag.

Photo Update

This is a quick photo update for Print o' the Wave. Since the weather is awsome here today, I was finally able to take a few pictures out in the sun. Now, if only Mark were less reluctant to help me with them, they would come out better.

And that is it for Print o' the Wave, I promise! On to the next project, whatever that will be. I haven't yet decided though the Bachforelle shawl is probably going to be it once I know how to start it. Having issues with the number of CO stitches since I want to make the shawl larger.

Monday, 20 June 2011

FO: Print o' the Wave

Two months after casting on, it is finally complete: Print o' the Wave, blocked to almost within an inch of its life!
I am incredibly proud of it. This is probably the largest project I ever got myself into (it's longer than me!) and I am thrilled that you can't really see the many mistakes I made along the way. Luckily, they were only in sections in which I could somehow make up for them. If you're not very closely looking for them, you won't find them. It even took me ages to spot the only two I could see.

After today's blocking, however, I can say with absolute certainty that I hate blocking. I am not good at it with larger projects, especially if I use pins instead of wires like I did this time. Of course, it doesn't help if you run out of pins halfway through either. I really need to get some more. Also, once I unpinned the shawl in the evening one small section of the edging decided it would rather curl up instead of forming points. Well, I shall have to do that bit again then, won't I?

I almost had to postpone the blocking session when I realised that the numbered play mats I bought for the purpose were too few for this gigantic shawl. As if I had known this would happen, I had kept the receipt and promptly exchanged the mats for these ones below. 26 are definitely better than 10.

Now, where to store them all?

Print o' the Wave - Ready for Blocking

Link(Image source)

Tonight I finally finished Print o' the Wave though it took me till late at night. I wanted to get it done now and even a substantial amount of frogging towards the end thanks to mysteriously dropped stitches couldn't stop me. So now it is done.

It is far too late in the night to block it, so I shall have to find time in-between translations and proofreading to do that. I can't wait! I want to know what it looks like (and whether my mistakes are visible or not). Also, I am keen to try out the foam mats for blocking and, most of all, I want to know how large the whole shawl will be in the end. I'll have something to show off at knit club this week!

And now to decide what to try next.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Knit Happens

So it does.

Today Mark and I went to visit a friend of his. I had never been at his place before and was looking forward to visiting. I estimated the train journey to take 20 minutes, followed by a 30 minute walk to the house. I have no idea what gave me that idea.

In the end, the train ride took an hour. Of course I had nothing with me: no music, no book, NO KNITTING! I thought I could pass 20 minutes without needing any of it, but who would have guessed it would take us that long! Maybe I should simply have asked...

As for the 30 minute walk, that was estimated according to Mark's very speedy walking speed. In the end that took 45 minutes, possibly more, and all in all I have walked between 2-3 hours between Bath and Yate today. Had I known, I would have worn more sensible shoes.

Tomorrow: knitting. All day. It's either that or sleep.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Time for a Change

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Since starting this blog, I have changed the background and layout quite a few times. While the layout itself remained constant towards the end, the backgrounds didn't and once again I have felt that the blog needed a bit of a make-over.

Previously, I got my backgrounds from The Cutest Blog on the Block which features a number of usually very colourful templates. I found that most of them are too busy and distract from the content of my blog, so a plainer background seemed more sensible. It turned out that choosing one of Blogger's own templates was best and with a little bit of tweeking, here we are. A little dark perhaps, but for now it will do. I may choose a dark grey at some point, but right now black it is.

In other news, I almost missed knit club for the first time ever yesterday. I had been tired all day and even exercising in the morning didn't help at all. I was too sleepy to even contemplate walking half an hour to be social and working on my lace. In the end, I convinced Mark to walk me there, which for some reason was fine. So in the end I did go even though I had mentioned in our Ravelry group that I wouldn't be there this time.

Oddly enough, I was wider awake at knit club than I had been all day and made good progress on my lace edging. It shouldn't be long now till I get Print o' the Wave done. A few days ago I bought some foam playmats like this one that I can use for blocking, so all I need are some more pins and probably some string since I can't seem to find suitable thin rods to thread through the knitting. Almost set!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Stitchmarker Mania

Saturday was a little bit boring even though I managed to get a lot done, considering it's the weekend. Among other things, I made some more stitchmarkers as future RAK gifts because I have noticed that there are lots of people who have them on their wish list. It's a good thing I like to make markers and have quite a lot of beads at hand too.

These red ones turned out very nicely, I think; so nicely, in fact, that I will be keeping one of them for myself. Now I have run out of wire and will make sure to get enough for quite a few more markers. It's a great way to get rid of large numbers of beads and it is a quick and fun acitvity.

Better Late than Never

For some reason I never took pictures of my last winter hat and as far as I know I didn't even mention it before. I started it probably sometime in December 2010 while working for my last employer. Since I often had to wait for the bus or my lift on the way to work and back, I spent ages in the cold. It's no surprise I fell ill so often. Eventually, I decided to get some lovely Noro Silk Garden (colourway 211, I believe) to knit a plain and simple winter hat.

Sadly, I didn't have enough yarn for the pompon I had planned to make and I haven't got any other suitable yarn to use here. I would love to add it at some point just to finish the look.

As it is, the hat is incredibly warm and lovely in the cold. It is a little too big for my head, especially now that I have short hair, but I didn't feel like reknitting the whole thing. At the moment, my glasses are the only thing keeping it from slipping over my eyes.

What I could do if I really wanted to is sew an elastic into the edge of the hat, but somehow that just seems wrong. I guess I will just have to live with the looseness and be glad that my ears are no longer in danger of getting frostbite. For some reason, winter in England seems more of a health hazard than winter in Germany!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Day of Gifts

This postman delivered this parcel this morning and it is my first ever RAK gift! Grosi from Ravelry's German RAK group fulfilled my wish for a shawl pin. More than that, she sent not only one, but two! I love both of them: one is from KnitPro and made of its lovely multicoloured wood while the other has a shape that is reminiscent of Maori designs, which is perfect for someone like me who has written a book about particular aspects of the culture. I can't wait to wear my shawl with one of these pins!

Grosi also added a matching sock yarn, which is lovely, some chocolates and a box of green tea, just when I ran out of teabags. I was not expecting to get anything this month because it was my first time in a RAk group and nobody had mentioned sending anything my way. So it was a wonderful surprise and it proved to be the start to a wonderful day.

In the morning I also managed to post my RAK gift to another German Raveler who I hope will love her present. In the afternoon I got an email from a member of the group who said she would send me her leftover balls of pink mohair. Can the day get any better? I think not!

The weather is perfect, me and Mark had a lovely picnic in the sun, and gifts are being sent and received around the globe. Just perfect for today's Knit in Public Day!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Slow Progress

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Print o' the Wave is creeping along very slowly. I had started the edging on one of the longer sides and it took me ages to finish. Yesterday I finished one of the short sides and now have the long trek along the last long side ahead of me, which I am not looking forward to. Luckily, knit club helps in these situations and I end up knitting more repeats in one go than I do at home, simply because I am distracted by chat. That is a very good thing.

This weekend I will be sending off my first RAK gift to a lady in Germany who has no idea the stitchmarkers are on their way to her. I also found a very pretty postcard of Bath to go with them and I hope they will cheer her up. I have no idea if anyone is fulfilling my wishes, but the month has only just begun. Can't wait to find out!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Prismatic II - Déjà Vu

Yes, I knitted the Prismatic scarf once before. Yes, it was also for Mark. And, yes, I said I would never knit him anything again since he has lost exactly 50% of the items I ever knitted for him. But then again knitting is an addiction and rational thinking has little to do with it at times, so here I am with another scarf for Mark.

I noticed that the designer has updated the pattern, which was a good thing because the one I used the first time around didn't incorporate the i-cord edging in the chart. That's why the first scarf didn't have a nice edging at all and it annoyed me that I couldn't get it right. At that point I hadn't knitted i-cords before so I had no idea what she was going on about anyway. So this new scarf is finally error free and I still love the stitch pattern.

The scarf got blocked this morning after I finished the second ball of Alafoss Lopi pure wool. I loved how thick the yarn was, but I still really dislike the way it feels. It is incredibly scratchy and I certainly wouldn't want it anywhere near my skin. Mark chose the yarn and didn't seem to mind, so that's good.

The only thing that I am not happy with regarding the finished product is the fact that it is too wide and too short. I didn't know how much I would get out of the yarn and really the scarf could do with another ball. Or I should have cast on fewer stitches. Luckily, Mark seems very happy with the result and he will finally be able to keep warm in the winter.

Let's just hope he doesn't lose this scarf as well!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A Day of Random Acts of Kindness

Last night was knit club night again so of course I have something to write - and there are pictures!

I came to Wool Bath in the hopes of getting into a better mood by being in the company of fellow knitters. I'd had a bit of a dispute online with someone who is the perfect example that the words "With all due respect" can only have a disrespectful outcome. Never mind that now, though. Off I went to knit club and I was greeted by the usual suspects and a button Laura made for us all:

Isn't it pretty? Maybe I should commission one that says DomiKNITrix one day since a friend gave me this monicker recently.

Speaking of friends, knit club has a new member of the furry variety (courtesy of Mark's mum), who is very evidently an avid knitter. That said, I have never seen him knit, but he does like to snuggle up in some UFOs or among balls of yarn. I am sure he will be very happy in his new home among my knitting. I've provisionally named him Camembertie, simply because a few of our teddies have names ending with -bert and I couldn't come up with anything different. So Camembertie it is.

In other news, I have joined two groups on Ravelry that I didn't know existed and only found by chance. They're the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) groups for the UK and Germany. There, people can make a wish every month and someone may fulfill it just because they feel like it, asking for nothing in return. Since I love giving gifts and this also seems like the perfect way to pass on things others may want though I may no longer be keen on them, I just had to join.

The German group only just started, so it is all new, but already I can tell the people are lovely and very generous. I have selected an unsuspecting giftee who will receive the stitchmarkers above. I made them earlier today and will try to find a pretty postcard to add to them. I bet she isn't expecting anything all the way from England!

The markers are made of four pink glass beads, two small plastic beads, two small metallic glass beads, tiger's eye and garnet. I do love making markers, but I can't keep them all to myself because I don't need them that much, so the RAK groups are perfect for making new ones just to give away.